Transport for London (TfL) are to introduce face covering exemption badges for eligible London travellers to help staff, passengers and enforcement officers.
Since 15 June, it has been mandatory for passengers on London’s transport network to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, including in stations and on platforms, unless they are exempt.
For those people who are not required to wear a face covering they can now order a free badge to let transport staff, British Transport Police and other passengers know that they are exempt.
Since 4 July, when TfL enforcement officers moved to an enforcement phase after previously explaining the requirement and encouraging compliance, officers have stopped around 7,600 people from boarding and have removed 1,800 people from services. Around 400 fixed penalty notice fines have been issued by TfL officers to those refusing to comply.
Face coverings have now become mandatory for all taxi and private hire passengers. The penalty for passengers failing to wear a face covering will be £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to a maximum fine of £6,400. This is in line with penalties for breaking the rule of six.
Following new measures introduced by the Government, TfL and the police have powers to issue stronger penalties and to prosecute those more persistent offenders.
Several charities have backed the release of the badges on social media including Age UK, Epilepsy Society and London Vision. In their messages the charities shared the design of the new blue round badge that will measures just over 5cm.